Familiarity creates security, but it can also be expensive.

You may have sometimes wondered why your company is once again attending a trade show, even though the results have not been what you hoped for in the past. I can tell you that you are not the only one thinking this. Doing the same things in the same way over and over again will provide the same results!

Today, attending even smaller trade shows can amount to several thousand euros worth of direct costs, and if you make any sort of investment into the size of your booth and its construction, the costs will quickly rise above 10,000 euros. Other expenses can easily add up to a significant amount when you include organizational expenses, such as working hours spent on organization, overtime pay, etc. And all of these expenses must be repaid to ensure return on your investment. By focusing on the following two things, you can produce a significant productivity leap.

Expensive mistake 1) Attending a trade show without objectives

In the worst-case scenario, you may have as many objectives as there are trade show attendees. Some sales people think of trade shows as a nice event where you get to meet old clients and colleagues, with whom you can engage in in-depth discussion deep into the night. Others may think of them as a mandatory chore, which is an attitude that will not be missed by the clients.

Lacking a common objective will allow everyone to work toward their own objectives that they find most pleasing personally.

A shared and declared objective will combine your forces, allocate them towards appropriate activities, and create results!

Expensive mistake 2) Results are not measured

“The trade show went really well, we even ran out of candy on the first day!” If you don’t have objectives, you will measure success using the wrong indicators. In reality, you won’t be measuring anything, but instead you create mental images based on vague feelings, which you use to justify to yourself that the venture was successful and worthwhile.

If you have specified objectives, you must measure their success rate. Potential indicators include your sales result, the number of bids requested, clients visiting the booth or meetings arranged with clients, or any other relevant indicator. If you have not set up indicators that match your objectives or they are not monitored, it will be impossible to know whether the thousands or tens of thousands of euros invested will pay for themselves and when!
You get what you measure!